Shutterstock.com is probably the website of choice for folks who like stock photos, license videos, music, illustrations, vectors, etc. It allows visual artists, photographers, and content creators the opportunity to earn money from their works. You can monetize your works – stock images, video footage, music, etc, by becoming a Shutterstock contributor. It is a global program that creates a community of royalty creators. In other words, a Shutterstock contributor is a person who shares approved digital media content with Shutterstock.com for people to buy online.
You may be wondering how can one make money from this arrangement. Don’t worry. I will walk you through the entire process in a moment. As a Shutterstock contributor, you’ll earn money for every stock photo or video clip you upload that a paying customer downloads. You can also make an extra income through Shutterstock Referral Program. How much you earn depends on the subscription tier that the customer uses for each download. To become a Shutterstock contributor, you’ll need to create or sign up for a Contributor account which will enable you to submit your content for review and necessary approval.
How to Sign Up or Create a Shutterstock Contributor Account
In order to be able to submit your content, you’ll need to create a Shutterstock contributor account. To register is very simple. Just provide some basic personal information about and verify your email address. Here are the steps you can use to create a contributor account:
- On the web browser of your device, type: submit.shutterstock.com and hit the enter button. This will take you to the homepage.
- Click on Sign up button at the upper left corner of your screen.
- On the next page, enter your full legal name.
- Choose a display name (i.e., the name you want customers to see)
- Enter your email address and password
- Click Next to continue
- Sign into the email address you provided and click on the link to verify your account
- On the next popup window, enter your residential and mailing address as applicable.
- Click Next to finish and you’re good to go.
How to Make Money on Shutterstock as a Contributor
We shall have a look at how to make money as a contributor to Shutterstock. The Shutterstock contributor platform provides an easy to use system and a proprietary solution that accounts for every download and processes payment. So, one may ask. How does it work? The answer is simple. A registered Shutterstock contributor earns royalties each time one of his/her approved images or videos gets downloaded by a Shutterstock customer.
A Shutterstock contributor’s earnings per download depend on one or a combination of factors such as:
- Earnings Tier
- Standard License and Subscription that was used for each download
- On Demand,
- Enhanced License, and
Let’s dive deep a bit about what each of them means and how Shutterstock rewards contributors who participate in the program.
Q.: What is Earning Tier?
A.: This is the rate you receive for customer Subscription and On Demand downloads based on your Lifetime Earnings. The total amount you have earned as a contributor with Shutterstock is known as Lifetime Earning. It has four tiers ranging from $0-$500, $500-$3,000, $3,000-$10,000 and $10,000+.
Q.: What is a Subscription Package?
A.: A subscription package attracts a monthly fee. It allows Shutterstock customers to license up to 750 images monthly under a Standard License arrangement. If the customer is a monthly subscriber, Shutterstock pays 25 cents each time the customer downloads one of your images. This can increase up to 38 cents per download as you reach the $500, $3,000 and $ 10,000-lifetime earnings tiers.
Q.: What is an On Demand Plan?
A.: The On-Demand plan allows a Shutterstock customer to buy a pack of images under Enhanced or Standard license. The plan has one year validity period within which the customer must download the images. You can earn between 81 Cents to $2.85 per download with a Standard license, depending on your Lifetime Earnings tier. With an Enhanced license, you’ll earn between 20-30% of the purchase price based on your Lifetime Earnings tier.
Q.: What Does Enhanced License mean?
The Enhanced license gives customers the opportunity and the legal rights to merchandise images and use them for high-viewership commercial purposes without restrictions. The license comes in the form of image packs and custom products that customers can buy. As a contributor, your earnings start at 20% of the sale price and can be up to increase to 25%, 28%, and 30% based on your lifetime earnings tiers.
Q.: What Does Footage mean with respect to earnings?
A.: When a customer downloads any video/footage clip, you’ll earn 30% of the purchase price. Shutterstock sells video/footage clip under one license. The royalty you will earn is a fixed percentage, earning tiers notwithstanding.
Q.: What Does Referral Earning mean?
A.: When you direct a new customer or contributor to Shutterstock using the appropriate custom referral link, you’ll earn certain royalty on image, footage, etc. The Referral Program allows you to earn 20% of the customer’s first payment, up to $200 when you refer.
Shutterstock contributor account comes with a dashboard and other tools that can help you submit and organize your content. There’s also a Shutterstock contributor mobile app that you can use to upload your images and video clips from your smartphone or tablet.